Facts, Figures, And Other Resources For Legal Betting On The Biggest Night in Movies
Legal U.S. Oscar betting for the first time
Plenty of people have tried to guess who will take home the Academy Award at an Oscars party or with friends. New Jersey is taking the movie awards to the next level.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave sportsbook the all-clear to accept wagers on the Oscars. So far, most NJ sportsbooks have posted odds. It is unforged territory for regulated US sports betting. Nevada has never booked action on the Oscars. Additionally, spokespeople for both West Virginia and Pennsylvania said there are no plans to offer Oscars betting.
There is really only one type of bet sportsbooks will offer on the Oscars. Each nominee in a category has moneyline odds that they will take home the award.
Let’s take Best Director as an example. Here is a look at the five nominees and sample odds for each one:
Alfonso Cuaron: -1,200
Spike Lee: +700
Adam McKay: +2,000
Pawl Pawkikoski: +2,000
Yorgos Lanthimos: +2,500
The favorite to win the award is Cuaron (-1,200), who directed the film Roma. If you bet $120 on Cuaron to win and he does, you would get your $120 back and profit $10. In other words, you would have to wager $120 to win $10 (or $12 to win $1, and so on).
Let’s say you bet $10 on McKay (+2,000) and he upsets though. Then you would win back your $10 bet and profit $200. In other words, you would win $200 for every $10 you wagered (or $20 for every $1, and so on).
Because there are countless awards show leading up to the actual Oscars, there is typically a clear frontrunner in every category. That means steep moneylines on the likely winners. These bets require you wager a lot to win a little. However, if you can accurately predict an upset, you can make a tidy profit.
Where can you bet on Oscars?
So far, New Jersey is the only state willing to offer Oscar bets. Here is a look at every legal US sportsbook offering Oscars wagering as well as which categories they are offering:
Next up is Oscars Bingo. These four different bingo cards have squares featuring different events that will or could happen during the ceremony. Hand them out to your guests, watch for the squares to fill up, and and out prizes to Bingo winners. Click here to download the full PDF.
Nevada has only ever taken bets on sporting events, and events that actually take place on the field of play. Regulators have never allowed betting on something that is not a sport.
How often the Producers Guild of America winner go on to win Best Picture
How often the Directors Guild of America winner goes on to win Best Picture.
How often Best Picture was also nominated for Best Director. A movie without a Director nod has only taken home the Oscar on four occasions (1929, 1932, 1989, and 2013)
The number of times the movie that won Best Director did not win Best Picture. Eight of those instances have happened since 2000.
Where and When to Watch the Oscars
Ceremony: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019
Start time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Streaming options: www.abc.com or via the ABC app. Viewers with certain cable providers can log into the ABC app using their cable login. From there, select “Watch Live TV”. More info on how to watch the Oscars is available on ABC’s website.
Oscar Betting Tips
Pay attention to the guild awards
The Golden Globes used to be a great indicator of who will win the Oscars, but in recent years, the two groups are increasingly not on the same page. Rather than monitor the Globe winners, follow which films and people win the various awards for their respective guilds.
When it comes to Oscar voting, members of the Academy only vote in categories they work in. The editors are the only ones who vote for Best Editing, for example. The only category everyone votes for is Best Picture. The best way to figure out which film editors prefer, you need look no further than the American Cinema Editors awards.
PGA and DGA are best Best Picture predictors
If there is one guild award you should pay attention to more than the rest, it is the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) award. In the 29 years of existence, the PGA winner has gone on to win Best Picture 79 percent of the time. The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) is equally as successful as predicting Best Picture and even more accurate when it comes to predicting Best Director.
The Best Picture will likely be the least polarizing
When the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to up to 10 nominees in 2009, it also changed how the voting for the category worked. The new preferential ballot system tends to award movies everyone feels generally positive about.
Polarizing movies like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and La La Land have too many people that strongly disliked them to win. The film most likely to be ranked in the top three of the most ballots is the one most likely to win.
Hollywood loves a good Hollywood story
If you haven’t noticed, Hollywood is a little bit in love with itself. Dating back to the start of the Academy Awards, movies about movies and the arts have always fared well.
Recent examples include The Artist, Argo, Birdman, and last year’s The Shape of Water. This year’s Best Picture field includes three entertainment industry stories, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is Born. Green Book winning PGA top honors and being a story about musicians definitely works in its favor.
Actors playing real people is a winning combination
Four of the last five Best Actor winners won for playing real people. This year, 12 of the 20 acting nominees are people depicting an actual person. While the actress awards don’t heed with this trend as much, the actor awards do tend to go to portrayals of real people. This year, the frontrunners in both Actor and Supporting Actor are roles based on real people.
Actors physically sacrificing for their craft gets rewarded too
In the case of Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, he also has a physical transformation as well, which means even more bonus points in his favor. Academy voters also love actors putting on pounds, putting on latex, and putting themselves through the wringer for their craft.
The popular Philadelphia casino now has an online sportsbook arm in New Jersey thanks to a partnership with the Golden Nugget.
Let the experts do the work for you
If you don’t want to study up for the Oscars before betting, there are plenty of sites that offer predictions for the awards. The most notable is Gold Derby, which tracks the entire awards season and offers predictions from dozens of awards buffs and industry professionals.
Additionally, as Oscar day nears, Variety likes to talk with anonymous Academy members who share what they voted for and their motivations behind their choices. This insight can be very useful to get a beat on what the Academy voters are thinking.
Best Picture odds
There are eight movies nominated for Best Picture this year. The odds at each book vary wildly, so you might want to price shop before committing to a bet.